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Could two professional memberships really make sense?


Last Saturday, I had the honor or presenting at one of the annual PRSA APR study sessions thanks to my friends Betsy Anderson and Julie Eastling. I opened up my presentation by saying I had sat in the exact chair these folks had been sitting in 10 years ago as an APR student. I had been a PRSA member for years. I had been on the PRSA board. I had been involved with PRSA for a long time.

And then I stopped. I needed a break.

And now, I’m on the board of directors for the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (the oldest interactive marketing association in the country!).

And now, I’m thinking about rejoining PRSA, too. I will be a dual-membership professional.

Prof ORg

And, I think we may start to see this trend grow in the years ago.

Here’s why.

We all know jobs in the creative space have been melding for years. Ad folks are being asked to do PR work. PR folks are being asked to do interactive work. Interactive folks are being asked to do PR work. Our jobs are all melding together just a bit.

So, there’s a definite need to learn about more than just one discipline, right?

Meanwhile, the list of professional organizations and groups catering to these disciplines continues to swell. Let’s look at the list just in the Twin Cities:



* AdFed





* MN Search

* Social Media Breakfast

I mean, I could keep going. There are more.

But, I think I’ve made my point. There are so many trade organizations and groups now you can join. More competition than ever.

But do you need to be a member of just ONE of these groups?

I say no.

I say it may make sense to be a member of MORE than one group, depending on your job, role and interest.

If you work in interactive, but specialize in social, wouldn’t it make sense to be a member of MIMA AND Social Media Breakfast?

If you work in PR but have a keen interest in all things digital (this sounds like me!), wouldn’t you want to be a member of PRSA AND MIMA?

If you worked in the ad space, but also wanted to learn more about social, should be you be a member of AdFed and also attend SMB events regularly?

I know, I know, the cost. And yeah, there is additional cost. But many of the membership fees to these organizations is minimal compared with the benefit. Take MIMA, for example. Annual membership is just $230 a year. But, for that fee, you get access to all the monthly events for FREE. So, if you attend six events a year, the membership pays for itself.

And that’s just one example. Cost shouldn’t be an issue, folks.

I’ve written about this before. The benefit easily outweighs the cost when you think about the long-term implications for your career.

So, is this a new trend just waiting to happen? Will we see more people taking on two professional memberships in the months/years ahead?



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